I still remember the first time I played Uncharted 2. Someone lent it to me, although I can’t quite remember who – I hope you’ll excuse me. The fact is that as soon as I finished it I went straight to a store and bought the third installment. I was already trapped, and yet, despite having completed the tetralogy several times, I have never thought of any title in the series as one of the great video games of my life. I have not established that emotional bond that I do have with other titles. Curious. But here I am, longing for its formula after returning to it (on PC) with Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection.
I have the feeling that, when dealing with large production, the video game has been put intensito in recent years. As if mature content had been linked, almost by decree, to drama, dark stories and, of course, epic understood as something very serious. Interestingly, I think one of the main culprits for this is The Last of Us. Destiny, it seems, is not without a certain irony —Morpheus already said it—. And or I have nothing against that kind of content, I like to put on intensito from time to time (like everyone), but I also appreciate the opposite, and there good old Nathan played a fundamental role.
Yes, I am aware that Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy can be classified, precisely, as the most “serious” of the saga, and despite everything I think they cannot hide their nature. A nature that is born linked to classic sense of adventure of the eighties, with protagonists who look more outward than inward, whose goals are usually linked to conflicts that, whether internal or external, tend to be treated with a certain lightness.
I never questioned the veracity of everything that Naughty Dog put on the screen. The escapism adventure, in that kind of subgenre that would make up fantastic archaeology, already taught us decades ago to accept the most difficult yet as something to celebrate, and the saga has always known how to embrace the festive aspect that is there in all of it. From infinite trains to confrontations with helicopters, going through graveyards of ships, pirate treasures, planes and forgotten cities. a whole collection of set pieces that, in their own universe, were surprisingly coherent (no matter how much they popularized the ludonarrative dissonance), forming something like a festival of the most difficult yet. It is true that there is a lot of that in the current video game, but the tone also has an important role in how we perceive it, and If things get too serious, the party stops being a party..
Uncharted handles that balance like few video games. What’s more, in the field of triple A I think he handles it like no other, and maybe that’s the problem. Because Naughty Dog took another path and, obviously, I have nothing to object to – first because its contribution is more than enough, and second because it has given us another saga that I also adore – but now, the field of great adult production is going through paths that point in another direction. A deeper and darker one (adjectives that have been linked to maturity, in my opinion, in an erroneous way) that seems to ignore that the luminous is also subject to reflection, as well as being celebrated. So between that, and the status that the Drakes have achieved, it seems that nobody dares to take the witness.
That’s why this appears on PC seems like great news to me. Beyond the price (something we could talk about at length), it is an opportunity for new players. And that opportunity comes with remarkable work that, just like the PS5 version, provides the best way to play both Uncharted 4 and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. The package is as expected: more graphic configuration options, and performance according to what is put on the screen. I have a mid-range PC and I guarantee you that they both look amazing, without the performance being affected too much, although it is true (and understandable) that the Lost Legacy costs a little more.
Performance aside, what brings me here today is not exactly technical. What brings me here is what the Uncharted formula has stirred within me. Right now, in the middle of 2022, it had been quite a while since I returned to the adventures of Nathan and company, and during these last days, I have realized that how much I miss what these offer; moments of decompression that successfully navigate between humor and tension, without taking one or the other too seriously, aware that lightness suits adventure wonderfully. pure decompression.
As I said before, there may be more of all this in the original trilogy than in the two titles that concern us, but its weight in them remains capital. It continues to be part of an essence, of a way of understanding the adventure in the video game that, by travel, seems difficult to replicate. As much as necessary -at least for me-.
Now siren songs sound. Rumors that speak of more adventures linked to the Drake universe, while the one with the whip and the hat prepares his return to the video game field. Meanwhile, I keep missing his particular sense of adventure, and I don’t know what all that will be, nor if there is room for someone else to dare with that formula in the current market, but you know what they say: “Greatness comes from small beginnings”.